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CSotD: Friday Funnies come on a Tuesday

By pure happenstance, Trout stumbles onto a shred of truth in today’s Agnes (Creators).

Blue is the color of St. Patrick, based on its heraldic association with Ireland and its adoption by the Order of St. Patrick in 1783, though, as explained there, it’s all “Anglo-Irish” which is a polite term for things that are within the Pale or, more pointedly, the stuff of seáníns.

The Anglo-Irish should not be confused with the sean-ghall or “Old Foreigners,” often with Fitz- names, who came over in the 15th century and adapted and became fully accepted as Irish, and here’s more than you wanted to know about them.

Green was the color of Irish nationalism, and became associated with Patrick largely through the fundraisers among immigrants in this country, whose financial and personal contributions are noted in the national anthem:

Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free, No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.

Though Mr. Dooley took a more cynical look at the fundraisers, declaring “Be hivins, if Ireland cud be freed be a picnic, it ‘d not on’y be free to-day, but an impire.”

I’m more supportive of Irish nationalism than that, but, then again, I’m only Irish 364 days out of the year.

On March 17, I hide under a rock to avoid all them drunken Steppin McFetchit eejits running around in greenface.

 

Meanwhile, Between Friends (KFS) reminds me that I’ve got a more tangled celebration coming up, because Saturday is my 50th wedding anniversary, or it would be if we’d lasted more that 13 years. I think it still is.

If my ex lived closer, I’d occasionally have lunch with her as Maeve does with her ex, because we get along fine. As for today’s strip, her second marriage was better than her first and, however Maeve feels about Simon’s news, I genuinely felt good for her.

And as the sean-ghall author of Gatsby said, “After all, any given moment has its value; it can be questioned in the light of after-events, but the moment remains.”

And as I’ve said, “If you like where you’re at, you ought not to despise the road that got you there.”

 

Which segues neatly into one of the funniest Existential Comics ever, in which a group of philosophers attempt to rebuild civilization or possibly simply save their own wise but wretched lives.

The segue being that I majored in becoming a philosopher king, largely because of this spoof of a ROTC ad that ran in the weekly Scholastic magazine during my freshman year.

However, by second semester of senior year, I had gained a pregnant wife and a growing realization that, in fact, “Philosopher King” was not an actual job title in the cold world ahead.

As with the fellows in this cartoon, I continued to feel it ought to be. Go read the whole thing.

To update, the kid turned out fine, I still love the ex and several people got to own Kirby Classics who would not have, had it not been for me.

 

Gene Weingarten has obviously been looking over my shoulder, and, in today’s Barney & Clyde (WPWG), contributes this mix of familial background conversation and hardcore philosophy.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(On the Fastrack – KFS)

 

(Alex – Telegraph.UK)

 

(Ben – AMS)

And speaking of intruding into personal space, I like Dethany’s pushback against utilizing laptops as corporate spyware as well as the notion of exploiting it for personal benefit, as seen in Alex.

I’ve also enjoyed the Ben-like moments of unplanned humor, and I’d note that barking dogs and intruding toddlers have done more to humanize workers than they have to disrupt business.

Which may be why Ms. Trellis isn’t the only magnate thinking about letting people work from home: The sky didn’t fall and there are savings to be had.

Like her, though, I see messages in those carefully curated backgrounds, in my case of correspondents on MSNBC and the NFL Network.

The principle seems to be shelves, but the latter network is particularly interesting because the guys tend to have posters, helmets and autographed footballs, while the women have books, and often actual books, not famous player autobiographies.

I covered this at some length back in May when it was fresh, and for now I’d simply note that Colleen Wolfe provided the most interesting mix, including Hunter Thompson, Joseph Heller, Don Dellilo and “The Boys on the Bus.”

I suspect she may be a Philosopher Queen in exile.

 

Super Fun Pak Comix (AMS) offers a different sort of reference to classics, and, though Colleen Wolfe is familiar with all those before-her-birth books, she’s probably not aware that Frosted Flakes were once Sugar Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops were Sugar Corn Pops and Golden Crisp was Sugar Crisp.

Sugar Crisp even had a mascot named Sugar Bear, who sang “Can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp, Sugar Crisp, Sugar Crisp, Can’t get enough of that Sugar Crisp, ’cause it keeps me goin’ strong.”

Imitating Bing Crosby, who was probably only barely familiar even to her parents.

Sugar may no longer be mentioned, but it sure isn’t gone, with a nutritionist pointing out that pizza makes a healthier breakfast than those semi-candy standards.

A philosopher king might remark that the fact that cold cereal started out as a health food makes the topic an apt metaphor for where we’ve gone as a civilization.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Bizarro – KFS)

(Rhymes with Orange – KFS)

Speaking of things nobody under 30, maybe 40, would get, I can’t remember when spare tires were replaced with donuts, perhaps because I owned old cars most of my life, so the change snuck up on me.

In fact, the car I miss most is my 1971 VW camper, which had a full-sized spare on the front in place of airbags.

Meanwhile, when my sisters were very young, I told them that the water tank in town was the Jolly Green Giant’s hat, and that he lived in a semi-wooded valley near our house.

I didn’t expect them to believe me, but they did.

Today, nobody under 40 does.

 

Community Comments

#1 George Paczolt
March/16/2021
@ 7:53 am

Ah yes, the Green Beer Irish. Being a 17th century re-enactor, I used to amuse myself by hitting the local bars late in the evening on St. Patrick’s Day and leading the crowd in toasts to that great Irish hero, Oliver Cromwell.

I loathe that holiday. Nothing like defining an entire ethnic group with a rich history by their (supposed) drinking habits.

#2 Brian Fies
March/16/2021
@ 10:31 am

Some days I only understand about half of what you write.

So I suppose this is where “beyond the Pale” comes from. Now that I’ve learned something new (and so early in the morning!) I can take the rest of the day off.

We just had an extended-family Zoom discussion on what beverages we remember drinking as children, and what the adults drank. It turns out my first decade (in the ’60s) was fueled pretty much by whole milk and sugar, with a heaping side of animal fat. Milk gave you strong bones, sugar gave you energy, and meat gave you muscles. What more could a healthy body need?

My Zoom background is NOT carefully curated, but it is a nice bookshelf that just happens to be across the room from my computer camera. This raises questions. SHOULD I curate it? Should I take pains to curate it so it looks deliberately uncurated? What do I want to reveal? Who am I? Deep questions about identity and image are dredged up. So far I pretend not to care.

I’ve learned a lot looking at the rooms and shelves behind my local news anchors. One is a woman whose shelves contain only books with white covers, interspersed with orange boxes that serve no apparent purpose. Lots of style, little substance, which colors my opinion of her reportage. Conversely, another TV reporter shows me a room with children’s art on the wall and strings of Christmas lights coiled around ceiling beams. I like and trust her a lot more than I otherwise would have.

Happy Paddy’s, Mike.

#3 Bob Crittenden
March/16/2021
@ 10:37 am

In 1979 when I ordered my first new car, a full-sized spare was an option that, IIRC, was $50. Somewhere down the time line, I had to give up on having a “real” spare due to space constraints.

I still love cold pizza for breakfast even though it’s been a few decades since I’ve had a hangover. As for green beer – I once caused a problem for the bartender (also the owner’s daughter) when I refused to accept the pitcher she delivered as I had specifically stated to not put any food coloring in it. Today, I don’t believe any amount of coloring would change the appearance of the beers I drink.

#4 Paul Berge
March/16/2021
@ 10:43 am

I’ve encountered the same incongruity in color scheme as the blue/green for St. Patrick when trying to celebrate St. Urho, whose feast day is today.

St. Urho, in a suspiciously familiar-sounding tale, is supposed to have driven the grasshoppers from Finland (“Hey! Where do you think you’re going with my lunch?” –John the Baptist). But whereas the colors of the Finnish flag are pale blue and white, St. Urho’s colors are green and purple.

#5 Mary McNeil
March/16/2021
@ 5:36 pm

Jeez George ! OLIVER CROMWELL ?? Have you been drinking with Sen. Ron Johnson lately ?

Brian : When I worked at a giant Antique Mall, I was appalled at the number of people who came in looking for “matching books.” One way to dispose of all those millions of old encyclopedia sets.

March 17 is also the day of St. Gertrude of Nivelles who started out as the patron saint of rodents (getting rid of them) and has morphed into the patron saint of cats.

#6 Lost in A**2
March/17/2021
@ 4:31 am

I think that was his point, Mary: the celebrants don’t know enough about Ireland to recognize Cromwell’s role. So they happily joined him in toasts to Cromwell.

#7 George Paczolt
March/18/2021
@ 6:21 am

Exactly.

#8 Phyzzi
March/18/2021
@ 11:11 am

St Patrick’s Day really captures the “charm” of misappropriated cultural holidays (like Cinco de Mayo) while also including the “wonder” of holidays appropriated by religion to gaslight our children.

But I would never begrudge someone an excuse to have a bit of soda bread, a nice bowl of stew, and even watch some young lasses show of their legwork. I don’t think the Irish particularly suffer by St. Paddy these days and so I’m inclined to look for some joy in the day. And I do believe most Irish are willing to have rather the opposite problem of no true scottsman.

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